Earth has its one and only natural satellite and we call it the moon but other planets have their natural satellites or their moons too. Recently, we have even found out the first evidence of a natural satellite of a planet that belongs to another star system and we have named it exomoon. Now, what if we find out that a planet's moon has a moon (natural satellite) of its own? What would we call it then?
Amusingly this completely speculative question has attracted the interest of many astronomers across the globe and they have taken it on themselves to come up with a proper name for a moon's moon. Now, you would imagine that when the best minds of the world come up with a name it's creative and technical at the same time. Well, the best (you can decide if it's the best or the worst) name candidate, in this case so far, tells a different story. The name that the astronomers have come up with is Moon-moon. Way to go creativity!
As reported by ScienceAlert all the talk about moons' moons have even encouraged two new papers, which are right now awaiting publication.
Astrophysicist Duncan Forgan has finished the first paper, which talks about whether or not the recently-found exomoon, around the exoplanet Kepler-1625b, is capable of harbouring life. Forgan goes on to explain in his paper that although the present observations suggest that the exomoon wouldn't be inside that star's habitable zone, if the Neptune-sized exomoon had its own moon and if that Moon-moon was a rocky body like Earth, it could've supported life when the planet Kepler-1625 was in its main sequence a long time ago.
This is where it all started, as Forgan used the term Moon-moon in his paper.
The next paper, however, scratched the name Moon-moon completely and used submoon instead. This paper, authored by Juna Kollmeier and Sean Raymond, revolves around a more fundamental question – is it even possible for a moon to exist around another moon? The scientists explain in their paper that actually it is possible.
So, while people agree that Moon-moon is a silly name, it appears that the name is actually getting a lot of momentum. Let's wait and see what the science world finally calls a moon's moon. It would be interesting to see the other options; isn't it?
There are at least 17 poets who have been waiting their whole lives for the chance to name the moon of a moon and then scientists just mess around and call it a moonmoon. This is exactly why STEM fields need more arts and humanities education. https://t.co/zB2Xnp7VFo— Danielle Evans (@daniellevalore) October 10, 2018
Your moonmoon name is your name + your name— Rads (@FeelingEuphoric) October 11, 2018
Moonmoon can have moonmoonmoons too?— Celine✨? (@Celynxx) October 10, 2018